Pumpkin does paperwork

Pumpkin does paperwork

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Low-cost Ways to Protect your Cat from Outside Dangers

Commercial "catio" enclosures, components, cat-proof fencing, fence toppers and kennels can be expensive. Even many DIY projects require materials and tools. Many loving cat owners don't have the resources or technical ability to construct elaborate outdoor safety zones for their feline family members.

1) Raise or convert your cat as an indoor-only cat.

This is of course, the least expensive way to protect your cat from outside dangers. There is a common misconception that cats need to live outside in order to be happy. Cats can be perfectly happy in an all-indoor environment but there are some caveats. A single indoor cat will be much easier to manage than multiple indoor cats. Indoor cats may require more interaction, playtime and attention from their owners, in addition to the use and inconvenience of multiple litter boxes.

Basic needs:
  • At least one scratching station for each cat to keep your furniture in good condition. Perfectly adequate scratch boxes, posts and similar products can be fairly inexpensive.
  • Cat toys are key of course, but you don't really need to buy anything extra. Empty and “modified” cardboard boxes are usually a big hit. There are plenty of items around the house which can be made into cat toys. Our cats are perfectly fine with a wadded up ball of tin foil, or piece of cardboard hanging from a string. 
  • Cat grass as a dietary supplement.
  • Dried catnip (optional) 
You can also build a small outdoor "safe area" out of scrap wire fencing and chicken wire with a connection (cat flap door) to your home.

The one pictured above is connected to a larger cat-safe yard but the concept is the same:

The one below is a bit more elaborate, but the materials cost was under $50:

I have also reviewed several commercial products that allow your cat to roam outside in the safety of your own yard. The review is a bit old but these products are available and there are quite a few options if you do some web searching.